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January 1, 2007 at 7:46 PM #41190TandMParticipant
I was always under the impression that a direct line from the soundboard is the best option for recording quality sound for my video. A sound pro told me a mike by the speaker would be better.
What do you suggest?
I would appreciate any help
March 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM #175327AnonymousInactive
Agreed. As a sound professional, let me second that you should pretty much never use noise cancelling headphones. If you’re looking for a sturdy, quality set of monitoring headphones, I’d also recommend the Sony MDR 7506. It sounds good, it’s compact, and has a nice coiled cable to stay out of the way. It’s pretty much an industry standard, and typically you can find it for around $99 retail, so it won’t break your bank.
March 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM #175328gldnearsMember
T and M queries:
” I was always under the impression that a direct line from the soundboard is the best option for recording quality sound for my video. A sound pro told me a mike by the speaker would be better. “
In the simplest interpretation of your question, all things being equal, you will get better quality sound directly out of the sound mixer than you will by placing your own mic in front of a speaker. Another question is whether the sound mixer will be ” manned ” or will it be a set-n-forget situation? If you’re getting your sound from the mixer, you do run the risk that some drooling fool will cut your feed inadvertantly, becoming a ” private matter ” between you and him which might not be resolved quickly. If you place a mic in front of the PA speakerand it gets cut off, EVERYone will be aware of it and the situation will be corrected right away.
I made a test video in early February of a small group public concert. I had my digital audio recorder set up at the mixing console ( which was ” set-n-forget ” )to capture the PA mixas a line levelfeed fromthe board. I had the PA speaker/room sound picked up by my camera mic as a reference to sync to in post. As it turned out, a mixture of both tracks was the most pleasing, since the direct board out was too dry and itbenefitted from the addition of a little of the PA speaker/room track. There were also a couple sing-along tunes which wouldn’t have worked very well with only a dry PA feed.The group consisted of 5 musicians and two singers. In retrospect, if I were being paid ( adequately )to do this gig, I would haveused my laptop and 8 channel Firewire interface to record the individual mics to separate channels and do a serious musicmix back in the studio.
March 7, 2012 at 7:47 PM #175329AnonymousInactive
Apologies for the earlier post, replied to the wrong thread!
What I meant to say here, is that it depends on what’s coming into, and out of, the sound board. If you’re trying to get an audio feed for a live performance with dozens of performers, instruments etc., a (stereo) mix down off the sound board will probably be easier to manage then attempting to mic everything yourself. One thing to realize is that it will usually be a more “direct” or “dry” sound, which can be good or bad depending on the aesthetic you’re going for.
In practice, I would take a feed off of the sound board, as well as put a mic in the audience. Typically, place your live mic near the sound board location (assuming it’s in a decent spot, i.e. not at the top left corner of a balcony) because you’ll be picking up what the audio engineer is listening to, so by the sound board is usually where the reinforced audio will sound “best”. You do not need to put a microphone in front of each speaker. Depending on what you ultimately plan to do with the recording, a simple stereo mic, or stereo pair (X-Y or ORTF setup), or even a single mono mic in one location will be just fine (especially if you are going to mix live and board feed down the road). Not only will this setup let you mix between “dry” and a more “roomy” sound, but the audience location mic will act as a good backup in case something goes awry with the sound board feed.
In all cases, if you do plan to take a feed from the sound board, try to talk to the audio engineer ahead of time to let them know your needs, so they can prepare for you. Just showing up and expecting to plug in is asking to shoot yourself in the foot. They may not even have a spare output for you on the sound console. Planning ahead will make both you and the audio engineer much happier.
Hope this helps,
March 7, 2012 at 10:20 PM #175330kgecholsParticipant
I agree with those that have indicated ‘better safe than sorry’ approaches and that sometimes a feed from the house mixer is not at all what you want for your video. The sound professional you talked to may also be protecting himself from having to provide feeds to multiple videographers and any associated liability. Also, I strongly recommend that PA (FOH) mixing and Recording mixing are done on seperate systems unless they are specifically planned and tested together by cooperating professionals.
March 8, 2012 at 12:35 AM #175331CharlesParticipant
I have a question, I shoot a lot of heavy metal bands and when I use my shotgun mic, I have to have it all the way down and still pick up quite a bit of bad audio from being over cranked. If I place a digital recorder with external mic’s by the speakers, will it not also be over cranked? These concerts are very loud and I have to wear ear plugs.
March 8, 2012 at 2:49 AM #175332gldnearsMember
” In all cases, if you do plan to take a feed from the sound board, try to talk to the audio engineer ahead of time to let them know your needs, so they can prepare for you.“
Well, if it’s a decent-sized touring concert, it’s not at all unusual for the FOH mixer to be running a stereo mix to some sort of recording device for their archive purposes; so maybe there would be a better chance at yourgetting a decent mix . . . . . But for some reason I supposed the original question being asked wasn’t about filming a concert of such magnitude?
“If I place a digital recorder with external mic’s by the speakers, will it not also be over cranked? “
I once put an AC voltmeter across a Shure SM-58 dynamicmic being sung into by a loud rock-band singer. It measured line level voltage of + 8 db peaks instead of normal mic level of – 40/- 50 db,what would normally be read if someone were just talking into it. I’m assuming your shotgun is a condenser,which usuallyhas a higher outputlevel, above let’s say, a dynamic type mic. It’s possible that even with the mic gain on your camera turned all the way down the preamp still has enough gain to be overloaded. If your mic is being powered by your camera, an in-line attenuator might not be the answer. If you have a way to power your shotgun other than your camera, you might try plugging it into the line level inputs on your camera.My best guess would be that a pair of omni dynamic mics like the E-V 635a placed in front of the PAspeakers and pluged into the line level inputs of your digital recorder would handle the volume just fine.
March 8, 2012 at 6:30 AM #175333AnonymousInactive
Definitely could be the preamp, using a pad/attenuator would help solve that as gldnears suggested. Also, check if the camera gain setting is actually for the analog preamp circuitry, or if it is simply a digital trim setting (you want to control the analog preamp, pre-digitization).
It is theoretically also possible that the microphone itself is being overloaded. Most mics have a max SPL rating, over which the diaphragm/circuitry itself cannot physically handle the sound level without distorting (or potentially damaging). Usually this is pretty high, so if you’re really in environment that is that loud I pity those without earplugs… Look up your specific mic specs and see what it’s rated for. Getting a mic with a higher SPL threshold might be the solution.
If all else fails you could (and should as a backup anyway) try a digital recorder with external mics, but I would not put it by the speakers themselves. Put it at the mix position, or a decent audience location midway back.
March 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM #175334msizerParticipant
If I might add a comment, while of course the board aux out will give you a high fidelity signal, but depending on the size of the venue and the comparable loudnesses of each instrument, not every instrument may be amplified, so the board output may not contain say drums or a guitar amp (or various other loud instruments). I find a good set of stereo mics is my favorite solution because it picks up what the sound tech intends for the audience to hear rather than just what is amplified.
March 9, 2012 at 1:05 AM #175335TonyParticipant
The answer to this question largely depends on the size of the venue, crowd, mixing console and other factors. It also depends how many channels of audio youhave the capability ofrecording. If you get a stereo feed from a console, it depends on what outputs you get the mix from as to it’s level, impedance etc. It also depends on if it is just a mix the same as what is going out front of house or not. It may be helpful to have, but may not be a good balance of instruments. Another possible answer is to set up a pair of condensor mics set in an x-y position behind and above the sound mixers desk. If the position is in a traditional central position back in the crowd some way you may get a good overall mix here. If yu can record both a stereo mix from FOH and the stereo pair of condenors all to separarte tracks you may get quite good sound to work with that you can blend later.
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